10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Missouri For 2019


We used science and data to determine which cities in Missouri that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Missouri.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Missouri does this very well. Families love the Show Me State’s beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state — and that’s how we’re going to help you.

These are the places in Missouri that cost a pretty penny — the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Missouri for 2019.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Missouri? That would be University City.

So hopefully Bonne Terre (the cheapest place to live in Missouri) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Missouri and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Missouri For 2019

University City, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 34,922
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.1x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.8x (44th most expensive)
More on University City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

University City is an inner-ring suburb of the city of St. Louis in St. Louis County, in the U.S. state of Missouri. The population was 35,371 in 2010 census.

The median income in University City comes in at $57,546 and the median home value is $238,500 for 2019.

Columbia, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 118,620
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.9x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.3x (38th most expensive)
More on Columbia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Columbia is a city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Boone County. Founded in 1821, it is home to the University of Missouri and is the principal city of the Columbia metropolitan area. It is Missouri’s fourth most-populous city, with an estimated 120,612 residents in 2016. As a Midwestern college town, the city has a reputation for progressive politics, persuasive journalism, and public art. The tripartite establishment of Stephens College, the University of Missouri, and Columbia College, which surround the city’s central business district to the east, south, and north, has made Columbia a center of learning. At the center of Downtown is 8th Street, also known as the Avenue of the Columns, which connects Francis Quadrangle and Jesse Hall to the Boone County Courthouse and the City Hall. Never a major center of manufacturing, the city also depends on healthcare, insurance, and technology businesses. Companies such as Shelter Insurance, Carfax, and Slackers CDs and Games, were founded in the city. Cultural institutions include the State Historical Society of Missouri, the Museum of Art and Archaeology, and the annual True/False Film Festival. The Missouri Tigers, the state’s only major college athletic program, play football at Faurot Field and basketball at Mizzou Arena as members of the Southeastern Conference.

The median income in Columbia comes in at $47,236 and the median home value is $185,300 for 2019.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,658
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.3x (33rd most expensive)
More on St. Robert: Real Estate | Data

The median income in St. Robert comes in at $50,252 and the median home value is $186,700 for 2019.

Branson, MO

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 11,228
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.4x (21st most expensive)
More on Branson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Branson is a city in Stone and Taney counties in the U.S. state of Missouri. Most of the city is in Taney County, with a small portion in the west extending into Stone County. Branson is in the Ozark Mountains. The community was named after Reuben Branson, postmaster and operator of a general store in the area in the 1880s. The population was 10,520 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Branson comes in at $40,738 and the median home value is $156,600 for 2019.

Sunset Hills, MO

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 8,511
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (14th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.0x (56th most expensive)
More on Sunset Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sunset Hills is a city in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The population was 8,496 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Sunset Hills comes in at $101,058 and the median home value is $365,800 for 2019.

Maryville, MO

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,855
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.3x (13th most expensive)
More on Maryville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Maryville is a city and county seat of Nodaway County, Missouri, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,972. Maryville is home to Northwest Missouri State University, Northwest Technical School, and the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing.

The median income in Maryville comes in at $31,464 and the median home value is $131,700 for 2019.

Rolla, MO

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 20,013
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.9x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 47.8x (10th most expensive)
More on Rolla: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rolla is a city in and the county seat of Phelps County, Missouri, United States. The population in the 2010 United States Census was 19,559. Rolla is located approximately midway between St. Louis and Springfield along I-44. The Rolla, Mo Micropolitan Statistical area consists of Phelps County, Missouri.

The median income in Rolla comes in at $33,046 and the median home value is $127,800 for 2019.

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 9,463
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (18th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.7x (48th most expensive)
More on Ellisville: Real Estate | Data

Ellisville is a city in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The population was 9,133 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Ellisville comes in at $67,198 and the median home value is $230,800 for 2019.

Warrensburg, MO

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 19,890
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.1x (32nd most expensive)
More on Warrensburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Warrensburg is a city in Johnson County, Missouri, United States. The population was 18,838 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Johnson County. The Warrensburg Micropolitan Statistical Area consists of Johnson County. It is home to the University of Central Missouri.

The median income in Warrensburg comes in at $40,483 and the median home value is $150,800 for 2019.

Weldon Spring, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,534
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 9)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (19th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.9x (67th most expensive)
More on Weldon Spring: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Weldon Spring is a city in St. Charles County, Missouri, United States. The population was 5,443 at the 2010 census. It was the location of the largest World War 2 explosives plant and later a uranium refining faculty.

The median income in Weldon Spring comes in at $103,140 and the median home value is $350,500 for 2019.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Show Me State For 2019

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Missouri
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2013-2017 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Missouri to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 129 places in Missouri that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Missouri according to the data is University City.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Missouri For 2019

Well there you have it, the places in Missouri that have the highest cost of living, with University City ranking as the most expensive city in the Show Me State.

Here’s a look at the most affordable cities in Missouri according to the data:

  1. Bonne Terre
  2. Park Hills
  3. St. Ann

For more Missouri reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Missouri

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 University City 22.67 34,922 4.1x 58.8x
2 Columbia 25.0 118,620 3.9x 57.3x
3 St. Robert 25.0 5,658 3.7x 56.3x
4 Branson 25.0 11,228 3.8x 51.4x
5 Sunset Hills 25.33 8,511 3.6x 61.0x
6 Maryville 26.33 11,855 4.2x 49.3x
7 Rolla 28.0 20,013 3.9x 47.8x
8 Ellisville 29.0 9,463 3.4x 59.7x
9 Warrensburg 30.33 19,890 3.7x 56.1x
10 Weldon Spring 32.33 5,534 3.4x 62.9x
11 Kirksville 33.67 17,519 3.9x 45.7x
12 St. Louis 36.0 314,867 3.2x 49.6x
13 Cape Girardeau 36.5 39,092 3.4x 56.8x
14 Valley Park 37.0 6,939 3.1x 60.5x
15 Clayton 37.0 16,214 6.5x 78.4x
16 Olivette 37.0 7,830 4.0x 72.2x
17 Des Peres 38.33 8,536 3.2x 70.2x
18 Maplewood 39.33 7,975 3.7x 63.6x
19 Shrewsbury 39.33 6,180 3.0x 60.1x
20 Springfield 39.33 165,785 3.2x 48.9x
21 Harrisonville 40.33 10,025 3.0x 54.0x
22 Sullivan 42.33 6,587 3.0x 46.6x
23 Webster Groves 43.67 23,069 3.0x 67.1x
24 Brentwood 43.67 8,025 2.9x 62.0x
25 Town And Country 44.0 11,030 4.2x 158.8x
26 Ladue 44.33 8,591 3.9x 113.1x
27 Kirkwood 44.67 27,659 3.4x 77.1x
28 Joplin 46.67 51,540 2.9x 54.5x
29 Creve Coeur 47.67 18,259 3.6x 85.5x
30 Boonville 48.0 8,388 3.0x 56.4x
31 Chesterfield 49.0 47,660 3.6x 87.4x
32 St. Charles 49.0 69,026 2.9x 66.8x
33 Poplar Bluff 49.0 17,112 2.9x 48.1x
34 De Soto 49.33 6,399 2.9x 49.7x
35 Warrenton 49.67 8,091 2.8x 50.8x
36 Kansas City 50.0 476,974 2.8x 58.2x
37 Richmond Heights 50.67 8,466 3.2x 79.6x
38 Lake St. Louis 51.0 15,371 3.0x 79.2x
39 Bridgeton 53.67 11,712 2.7x 61.4x
40 Farmington 53.67 18,047 2.9x 59.8x
41 Manchester 56.33 18,130 2.9x 78.2x
42 Grain Valley 57.33 13,480 2.6x 63.0x
43 Parkville 57.33 6,326 3.0x 170.0x
44 Bolivar 58.33 10,654 2.9x 60.5x
45 Lebanon 59.33 14,610 2.8x 54.6x
46 Wildwood 59.33 35,524 2.8x 109.5x
47 Waynesville 61.33 5,291 2.8x 71.3x
48 Sikeston 61.33 16,482 2.8x 60.7x
49 West Plains 62.33 12,218 2.7x 53.8x
50 Union 62.33 11,041 3.0x 73.2x
51 Nixa 62.5 20,757 2.8x 64.8x
52 Caruthersville 62.67 5,859 2.8x 51.3x
53 Kennett 63.0 10,271 3.0x 61.1x
54 Glendale 63.0 5,919 2.8x 113.8x
55 Washington 63.67 13,963 2.9x 79.1x
56 Ballwin 64.33 30,388 2.7x 81.1x
57 Crestwood 64.67 11,921 2.6x 77.9x
58 Maryland Heights 65.0 27,246 2.5x 64.6x
59 Dardenne Prairie 65.33 12,938 2.2x 64.1x
60 Jackson 65.67 14,690 2.8x 73.0x
61 Pacific 66.0 6,294 2.8x 68.3x
62 Sedalia 66.67 21,477 2.5x 49.6x
63 Jefferson City 67.33 43,092 2.9x 78.4x
64 Pleasant Hill 68.0 8,321 2.5x 68.8x
65 Monett 68.0 8,861 2.5x 57.8x
66 Marshall 68.0 12,865 2.6x 58.4x
67 Fulton 68.17 12,807 2.9x 66.8x
68 Ozark 68.67 19,091 2.7x 71.4x
69 Festus 69.67 11,910 2.6x 65.6x
70 Marshfield 70.0 7,080 2.8x 63.9x
71 Troy 71.0 11,505 2.5x 68.5x
72 Arnold 71.33 21,102 2.4x 66.7x
73 O’fallon 72.0 85,246 2.5x 80.0x
74 Dexter 72.33 7,887 2.5x 53.2x
75 Wentzville 72.67 35,768 2.5x 86.2x
76 Hannibal 72.67 17,551 2.5x 59.0x
77 Kearney 73.0 9,469 2.3x 66.6x
78 Raymore 74.33 20,358 2.3x 74.4x
79 Black Jack 74.33 6,941 2.5x 66.0x
80 Savannah 74.67 5,111 2.5x 62.8x
81 Grandview 75.0 25,226 2.3x 57.2x
82 Clinton 75.0 9,088 2.4x 53.8x
83 Republic 75.0 15,890 2.5x 64.4x
84 Eureka 76.0 10,554 2.4x 96.7x
85 Gladstone 76.0 26,738 2.4x 68.0x
86 Neosho 76.33 11,983 2.4x 58.2x
87 Greenwood 76.67 5,771 1.9x 61.3x
88 Pevely 76.67 5,721 2.5x 72.3x
89 Lee’s Summit 77.0 95,270 2.4x 81.6x
90 Perryville 77.33 8,366 2.6x 69.9x
91 Liberty 78.0 30,602 2.4x 80.5x
92 Carthage 78.33 14,280 2.3x 51.3x
93 Independence 79.0 117,369 2.2x 57.3x
94 St. Peters 79.0 56,375 2.3x 77.6x
95 Mexico 79.67 11,528 2.4x 59.5x
96 Ferguson 79.83 20,927 2.0x 46.3x
97 Charleston 80.33 5,765 2.2x 41.4x
98 Cameron 80.67 9,904 2.4x 62.9x
99 Overland 80.67 15,901 2.0x 49.6x
100 Belton 80.67 23,299 2.0x 61.1x

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.